With less than a month to go until Christmas, the festive season has commenced - we've had Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas songs are being played on a continuous loop on various radio stations. We all know at least one person that embodies the spirit of Christmas and has their decorations unpacked and their tree shining brightly in the corner of their living room.
In previous years we've discussed tips to help save money at this time of year. However, this doesn't help, unless we know the underlying reasons people get into debt for a festive holiday. It's become a time to overspend and deal with the debt in the New Year.
In a recent survey for the Parentdex report, it was identified that a third of parents still have debt from last year's Christmas spending. Parent's spend on average £259 on gifts for children and in total, parents expect to spend over £800 more between Christmas and New Year than they normally would. The survey found that mothers are better at saving money than fathers, however overall a third of parents will turn to credit cards to meet additional costs.
How does debt impact on your Christmas?
We asked people in debt to summarise their feelings about Christmas and the majority said they would cancel the holiday. Debt leaves people feeling unsure about their future, but most felt they were obligated to make a financial commitment for their family and children.
The obligations for families at Christmas can result in overspending to meet expectations and parents often don't want their children to experience a Christmas "going-without". It's a very natural feeling, but it can result in long term financial problems.
Debt is rarely, from our experience at Debt Support Trust, a short expensive spending spree. A debt problem occurs gradually - the average person seeks advice after accruing debt for seven years - followed by a period of worrying about the debt, before contacting our charity.
Dealing with debt before Christmas
If you want to manage your debt before Christmas and understand which debt solutions you would be applicable for before the New Year then you can speak to a debt advisor in confidence at Debt Support Trust.
We'll assess your circumstances and explain which debt solutions you would be suitable for. We can also offer some budgeting advice if appropriate.
Speak to a friendly debt advisor on 0800 085 0226 between Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm. Alternatively, why not complete our online debt test and receive your result with recommendations for debt solutions?